Eucharist

(Lord’s day) I walked in the morning towards Westminster, and seeing many people at York House, I went down and found them at mass, it being the Spanish ambassodors; and so I go into one of the gallerys, and there heard two masses done, I think, not in so much state as I have seen them heretofore. After that into the garden, and walked a turn or two, but found it not so fine a place as I always took it for by the outside. Thence to my Lord’s and there spake with him about business, and then he went to Whitehall to dinner, and Capt. Ferrers and Mr. Howe and myself to Mr. Wilkinson’s at the Crown, and though he had no meat of his own, yet we happened to find our cook Mr. Robinson there, who had a dinner for himself and some friends, and so he did give us a very fine dinner.
Then to my Lord’s, where we went and sat talking and laughing in the drawing-room a great while. All our talk about their going to sea this voyage, which Capt. Ferrers is in some doubt whether he shall go or no, but swears that he would go, if he were sure never to come back again; and I, giving him some hopes, he grew so mad with joy that he fell a-dancing and leaping like a madman.
Now it fell out so that the balcone windows were open, and he went to the rayle and made an offer to leap over, and asked what if he should leap over there. I told him I would give him 40l. if he did not go to sea. With that thought I shut the doors, and W. Howe hindered him all we could; yet he opened them again, and, with a vault, leaps down into the garden:— the greatest and most desperate frolic that ever I saw in my life. I run to see what was become of him, and we found him crawled upon his knees, but could not rise; so we went down into the garden and dragged him to the bench, where he looked like a dead man, but could not stir; and, though he had broke nothing, yet his pain in his back was such as he could not endure. With this, my Lord (who was in the little new room) come to us in amaze, and bid us carry him up, which, by our strength, we did, and so laid him in East’s bed, by the door; where he lay in great pain. We sent for a doctor and surgeon, but none to be found, till by-and-by by chance comes in Dr. Clerke, who is afeard of him. So we sent to get a lodging for him, and I went up to my Lord, where Captain Cooke, Mr. Gibbons, and others of the King’s musicians were come to present my Lord with some songs and symphonys, which were performed very finely. Which being done I took leave and supped at my father’s, where was my cozen Beck come lately out of the country.
I am troubled to see my father so much decay of a suddain, as he do both in his seeing and hearing, and as much to hear of him how my brother Tom do grow disrespectful to him and my mother.
I took leave and went home, where to prayers (which I have not had in my house a good while), and so to bed.

We turn
the Lord into dinner—
no cook but hope, leaping
like a madman.
One ray and we open
to the most desperate life,
like a dead man broke
by the surgeon.
So much decay
is a mother to prayer.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 19 May 1661.

4 Comments


    1. Thanks! Certainly one of the most vivid entries in Pepys so far. I tried to do it justice.

      Reply

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